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Films inspired by Lewes Library’s films

Students from Sussex Downs Lewes College, with Daniel Ford, curriculum leader for media, produced short films with a Sussex theme as part of a partnership between the college and Lewes Library.

Students from Sussex Downs Lewes College, with Daniel Ford, curriculum leader for media, produced short films with a Sussex theme as part of a partnership between the college and Lewes Library.

Murder, mystery and football were among the topics of a film project undertaken by local students.

The scheme, a partnership between Lewes Library and Sussex Downs Lewes College, saw BTEC Film and TV production students tasked with producing a series of one-minute films with a Sussex theme.

Students researched and prepared their films at the library, which last week hosted a cinema-style premiere attended by students, their families, friends and other invited guests.

The films include Jack Me If You Can by 16-year-old Zak Comyns, from Brighton, which asks whether there was a connection between Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper and a spate of deaths in Lewes.

It’s an intriguing question. Former Mayor Wynne Edwin Baxter of the famous Lewes printing family was a lawyer, translator, antiquarian and botanist. But he is best known as the Coroner who conducted the inquests on most of the victims of the Whitechapel Murders of 1888 to 1891 including three of the Ripper’s victims in 1888, as well as on Joseph Merrick, the ‘Elephant Man’.

Another film is an investigation by 17-year-old student Kate Brown, from Crowborough, who discovered that her own family home stood on the site of one of the county’s most notorious murders.

In 1926 Norman Thorne was executed for murdering his fiancée, Elsie Cameron, before dismembering and disposing of her body at the chicken farm he ran at the junction of Luxford Lane and Luxford Road, a case which became known as the Chicken Run Murder.

Cameron Vincent, 16, from Lewes, offers a personal perspective of Lewes Bonfire Night from a Commercial Square smuggler, while Leila-Mae Rummery, also 16 and from Lewes, focuses on the tragic death of writer Virgina Woolf in the River Ouse.

Other films included a profile by 17-year-old Jack Carter, from Brighton, of his cousin, former Brighton and Hove Albion defender Kerry Mayo, and a film by 16-year-old Katie Beard, from Burgess Hill, probing her grandfather’s links to an historic East Sussex rail crash.

Cllr Chris Dowling, East Sussex County Council lead member for community services, said: “This scheme is a great example of how libraries play an important part in their community, supporting learning and helping people to discover the captivating history of our county.

“The students have produced a really impressive array of films which offer a fascinating insight into life in East Sussex in the past and the present.”

 

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